Motley votes nearly a 0 percent increase in the levy

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

When $18,000 was eliminated from the building fund in Motley’s proposed budget for 2013, taxes payable decreased by 1 percent. By adding $15,000 back into the budget for the building fund, the levy remained nearly the same as last year: a 0.2 percent increase.

“Without setting money aside, we would not have been able to do the projects we have done,” said Councilman Bruce Mills.

“The city has been good at keeping the city’s finances neat and trim, yet we still get things done,” said Councilman Rob Sampson.

The money was originally deleted from the budget because the city was not happy with the way the levy looked before it was removed.

The Council discussed the importance of setting aside money for future projects and voted unanimously to add the $15,000 back into the general fund and by doing so, keep the levy at the same level it was in 2012. It also voted to accept the 2013 final budget.

The total levy paid in 2012 was $325,460 and the proposed levy in 2013 will be $326,160.

Expenditures from the general fund are expected to increase in 2013 by $5,583 or 2 percent. From the street improvement fund, expenditures are expected to decrease by 43.4 percent, or $45,051.

From the fire fund, expenditures were budgeted at $99,313, a 15.7 percent decrease from 2012.

Expenditures from the water fund were budgeted in 2012 to be $280,468. The  water budget for 2013 increased by 18 percent, or $50,537.

The sewer fund expenditures are expected to increase in 2013 by 6.6 percent, or $19,510 and the expenditures in the solid waste fund will increase by 0.7 percent, or $325.

The 2012 budgeted expenditures came to $1.562 million and the 2013 budgeted expenditures are expected to reach $1.646 million, an increase of $83,580, or 5.4 percent.

Revenue in the general fund has been estimated at $483,643 for 2013, a 2 percent increase.

The fire fund revenue is estimated at $99,313 in 2013, a 15.7 percent decrease from 2012.

The water fund’s revenue is budgeted to increase by 10 percent, or $30,000, to $334,500.

The sewer fund’s revenue is expected to stay the same, a 0 percent increase.

The solid waste fund’s revenue for 2013 was budgeted to increase by $1,602, or 3.3 percent.

The city’s budgeted revenue for 2013 is $1.872 million, a 6.4 percent increase over 2012.

Motley City Council briefs

Other business conducted by the Motley City Council Tuesday night included:

• Voting to accept and pay $14,287.50 for the second change order from Feldt Plumbing LLC of Detroit Lakes. The list of changes included salvage and placement of crushed concrete, underground exploration, water main lowering, freight for additional product, traffic control on Highway 10, additional hydrants and the erection of a sliding hill, among other items. The total cost of the 2012 street project is now $793,666.69. The Council also voted to make the fifth payment to the company for $31,417.99;

• Learning Councilman Duane Solga is willing to step in and finish the last two years of Councilman Steve Johnson’s four-year term which he vacated when he was elected in November for a different four-year position on the Council. Clerk Treasurer Terri Smith said the Council is able to fill the empty seat any way it wants, but recommended either advertising for the position or accepting Solga, who lost his seat by 19 votes. That appointment will be made at the January meeting;

• Accepting the Fire Department’s recommendations  to appoint Dave Greig as fire chief, Steve Dille as first assistant chief, Tim Schneider as second assistant chief, Brad Olson as secretary, Todd Judd, Kyle Frisk and Mike Zimmerman as safety officers and Tim Schneider, Jace Carlson, Mike Zimmerman, Kyle Frisk and Jason Olson as training officers;

• Learning that the city’s attorney, Peter Vogel, said the restaurant owned by Ashlee Badger needs to be treated differently and that the city should amend its ordinance that regulates how far a liquor establishment needs to be from a church. Smith will look into whether or not a public hearing is needed to change the ordinance;

• Hearing concerns from Mayor Nancy Nieken that Hometown Planning, a company which offers zoning administration and land use planning services to communities, may be too expensive and the city should be looking for a company that costs less. More information will be brought to the next meeting;

• Voting to allow the Maintenance Department to use the $2,900 it has left from the 2012 budget to begin 2013 projects such as purchasing basketball hoops and signs for the park and making tennis court repairs;

• Learning Mike Nieken, who lives in another state, wants the city to take over land he owns in Industrial Park. He is unable to sell it and is willing to turn it over for the $89 quit claim deed fee;

• Voting to make the final payment of $13,334 to Di-Mar Construction Inc. of Excelsior for the Wastewater Treatment Facility;

• Agreeing to have the next Planning and Zoning meeting Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Next year’s full schedule will be determined when the new council is seated;

• Approving the Maintenance Department use the $3,500 set aside for a new street sweeper (the city now hires the job done) towards a new salt shed;

• Voting to make annual payments of $425.21 (a total of $4,678) to the Motley Food Shelf to pay for half its road repair assessment;

• Voting to accept Emory Circle as a city street, now that it is up to the city’s standards. Plowing will commence immediately; and

• Approving the Recreation Trail Permit for one year.

The next City Council meeting will be held at the Motley City Hall Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at 7 p.m.